Day 3: Adventure is Out There (and So is the Sun…)

Professor’s note: today’s post is brought to you by Michelle Stephens (one day late due to internet connection issues!); the haiku was a group effort.

a haiku for day 3:

We hate bugs a lot

We are not geologists

The sun makes us sweat

 

Today was hot; easy, and simple. The frizz of my hair in the morning indicated about an 85% humidity and the sun never seemed to hide behind the sparse amount of clouds in the sky. After we gathered our slates, cameras, and snorkeling gear, we headed out to our first location: Dump Reef. Contrary to what the name insinuates, the vibrant greens of the algae made the remaining royal purple sea fans pop, while the many other organisms danced in their playground. We were able to see some of the results from Hurricane Joaquin such as the reduction in sea fans, and sediment deposits. Sadly, this was a location of snorkel mortality. My snorkel continually flooded, while Christina’s had a piece fall off and have it’s own adventure in San Sal. After we finished at that location, we returned to campus very quickly in hopes of resurrecting some old snorkels from the dive shop. Dr. Zajac arose from the mist, arms filled with snorkels, as fireworks erupted in the background. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but he was able to find Christina and I snorkels!

fossil reef

our group exploring the fossil reef

We then departed to Fossil Reef where we were able to put on our geologist hats and look at the 125 thousand year old coral fossils. We quickly found that standing out in the sun looking at rocks was not in our forte. With that, we departed the ancient corals, algae, burrows, and mollusks to have lunch. We traveled up the coast in search for refuge from the blistering sun. A pavilion was found so we could eat our lunch fit for kings: cold-cut or PB&J sandwiches. Yum! We then ventured into Cockburn Town where a man serenaded us with a Welcome to San Salvador acoustic song. We then entered their convenient store where a very well behaved cat welcomed us. He acted exactly like a dog: trained, well behaved, and playful.

 

southern stingrayray                  After our small trip into town, we departed for our last dive location, Rocky Point, where Dr. Kelly managed to drive us under a palm tree that smacked three people in the face along our way (professor’s note: this is a bit of an exaggeration – for dramatic effect). This location has been by far the most impressive place for reefs. We were able to navigate two abundant patch reefs. We saw a sea urchin, a Southern Sting Ray (flappy flap), dozens of large parrot fish, fire coral, a Triggerfish (the other flappy flap), and a Chestnut Moray Eel. P5230398As we ventured off the beach from this last excursion, our tired faces hopped in the bed of the truck, which would bring us to the treasures we have been waiting for our the whole day: ice, showers, and food (which is arguably better than Bartels). Now we sit in an air conditioned room, which is something else we have grown to greatly appreciate, bug free, and going over the taxa seen today. All together, today was filled with adventure, sun, swimming, and increasing tans/sunburns, but now we are very ready for sleep.

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